SALT AND NOTHINGNESS
A Mantra from Jesus through Sartre towards Reduced Inequalities
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus unravelled the essence of humankind through the metaphor of ‘salt’, and centuries later, Jean-Paul Sartre named ‘nothingness’ as the reality of the human being. This article, by drawing parallels between ‘salt’ and ‘nothingness’, argues that, though from radically different schools of thought, Jesus and Sartre, in effect, are making the same point that all human beings, irrespective of race, sex, ethnicity, or social status, hold within them the undeniable potential to question and negate the status quo to bring about a sustainable change in the world. Adopting ‘salt and nothingness’ as a single mantra could effectively conceive development plans and actions to curb extreme inequalities, thereby fostering a sustainable society. By exposing the relevance of Jesus’ word in today’s world, the article emphasises the need to bridge the gap between the ‘sacred’ and the ‘secular’ so that religious values can be effectively incorporated into achieving United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, especially towards Reduced Inequalities (SDG-10).
Ager, Alastair, and Ager, Joey. “Sustainable Development and Religion: Accommodating Diversity in a Post-Secular Age.” The Review of Faith & International Affairs 14.3(2016): 101–105.
Altmeyer, Stefan. “Religious Education for Ecological Sustainability: An Initial Reality Check using the Example of Everyday Decision-Making.” Journal of Religious Education 69.1(2021): 57–74.
Atiemo, Abamfo O. “In Need of a New Lens: An African Christian Scholar’s Religious Critique of Western European Attitudes toward Religion and Development in Africa.” Religion & Theology 24(2017): 250–273.
Brown, Gregory. “Salt of the Earth (Matthew 5:13).” The Bible Teacher’s Guide. <https://bible.org/seriespage/9-salt-earth-matthew-513> 4 April 2020.
Bruton, Garry, et al. “Economic Inequality – Is Entrepreneurship the Cause or the Solution? A Review and Research Agenda for Emerging Economies.” Journal of Business Venturing 36.3(2021).
Catalano, Joseph. The Saint and the Atheist: Thomas Aquinas and Jean-Paul Sartre. University of Chicago Press, 2021.
Charles Jr., H.B. “The Salt of the Earth.” For The Church 2022. 26 April 2022.
Demir, Ayse, et al. “Fintech, Financial Inclusion and Income Inequality: A Quantile Regression Approach.” The European Journal of Finance 28.1(2022): 86-107.
DVK Journals “Religion and Development for Prosperity.” Journal of Dharma 2021. 25 March 2022.
Gardner, Sebastian. Sartre’s Being and Nothingness: A Reader’s Guide. London: Continuum, 2009.
Garlington, Don. “The Salt of the Earth in Covenantal Perspective.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 54.4(2011): 715-748.
Haynes, Jeff. Religion and Development. Conflict or Cooperation? Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
Ives, D. Christopher, and Kidwell, Jeremy. “Religion and Social Values for Sustainability.” Sustainability Science 14.5(2019): 1355-1362.
Leung, King-Ho. “Transcendentality and Nothingness in Sartre’s Atheistic Ontology.” Philosophy 95.4(2020): 471 – 495.
Minear, M. Paul. “The Salt of the Earth.” Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology 51.1(1997): 31–41.
Nandhikkara, Jose. “Editorial: Economics of Enough and Ethics of Care for a Prosperous and Sustainable Life.” Journal of Dharma 46.3(2021): 273-278.
Nandhikkara, Jose. “Editorial: Sustainable Development and Sustainable Peace.” Journal of Dharma 46.4(2021): 401-406.
Norris, A. Marcos. “The Failed Atheism of Jean‐Paul Sartre.” The Heythrop Journal 32.1(2021): 96-110.
Öhlmann, Philipp. “A New Journal for a New Space: Introducing Religion & Development.” Religion & Development 1(2022): 1–24.
Payne, Philip. “The Bible Teaches the Equal Standing of Man and Woman.” Priscilla Papers 30 January 2015. 3 May 2022.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and Nothingness. Translated by Hazel Barnes. Methuen & Co Ltd, 1977.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. Existentialism is Humanism. Translated by Philip Mairet. Methuen: London, 1948.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. No Exit and Three Other Plays. Translated by Huis Clos. Vintage International, 1989.
Schneider, Christoph, and Betz, Stefanie. “Transformation: Making Software Engineering Accountable for Sustainability.” Journal of Responsible Technology 10.11(2022).
Thomsen, Jørgen. “The Sustainable Development Goals as Space and Sparring Partner for Religious Actors in Development.” Ny Mission 32(2017): 25–33.
Tomalin, Emma. Et al. (2019) “Religion and the Sustainable Development Goals”. The Review of Faith & International Affairs 17:2(2019): 102-118)
Turner, David. Matthew. Baker Academic, 2008.
UN Women. “Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” 2018, p. 113. 6 May 2022.
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development “Overcoming Inequalities in the Context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” 2019. 10 May 2022.
United Nations. “Be the Change Initiative.” UN Sustainable Development Goals 2018. 5 May 2022.
United Nations. “Inequality.” UN Sustainable Development Goals 2018. 7 May 2022.
Wilson, Andrew. “What Does It Really Mean to Be the Salt of the Earth?” 26 April 2022.
World Inequality Lab. “World Inequality Report 2018.” 6 May 2022.
Zubia, A. Aaron. “The Saint and the Atheist’ Review: The Wrong Side of Truth.” The Wall Street Journal 26 February 2021. 20 May 2022.
Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Dharma
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.